George Zimmerman’s web site made headlines in April after it was revealed that the accused Florida shooter managed to raise $200,000 to go toward his legal fees in the Trayvon Martin murder trial. Now, it’s in the spotlight again after reports that Martin’s parents’ charity has only been able to raise a fraction of the amount — around half — that Zimmerman has received in aid.
The family of the slain teen has raised about $100,000 in donations that will go toward establishing a criminal justice advocacy foundation in Trayvon Martin’s name. Supporters made the donations through wepay.com and at rallies for Trayvon Martin. Martin’s parents will head the foundation at salaries equivalent to what they are making now, according to Slate.
Zimmerman launched his own site about three weeks ago, just before he was charged with murder. The rudimentary site was at the center of attention for its elementary design and personal plea from Zimmerman for financial support in the wake of the controversy surrounding the shooting, which prevented him from working. The site has since been taken down, but not before Zimmerman’s supporters donated nearly a quarter million dollars towards his legal fees and living expenses.
While the donations for the Martin family are going towards establishing a charity — a distinct difference from donations for Zimmerman, which are going towards legal fees — it comes as a surprise to many that Martin’s family has only raised half the amount that Zimmerman raised.
Public support has been overwhelmingly in favor of Trayvon Martin, but what do these donation amounts mean? Does the fact that Martin’s family didn’t raise as much as Zimmerman indicate a wider shift in public support as Zimmerman prepares to head into a trail that will no doubt be historic?